A while back I came across 20 Questions by Jeff Rients and thought that it would be a good way to get some of the bits and bobs of Neo-Tokyo/Shin-Edo out of my head and into the Flailsnailsverse. I really recommend this if you are planning to put together a campaign setting - it's helped me immensely.
This is quite long, thanks in advance if you make it to the end! If you make it and you have more questions, feel free to ask in the comments or on the G+.
1. What is the deal with my cleric's religion?
The 10,000 Kami have awakened and they are given their due respect, but gods and worship is a little different here than in other settings. The Kami are powerful and revered, but they provide no direct divine power to their followers. Most Kami will simply fulfil their roles as gods. Men that worship them will study and draw power from their teachings, not a divine source.
So... Clerics? What clerics? Do you mean the shukenja and sohei?
Shukenja are wandering priests with dedication to a particular monastery, temple or shrine. Sohei are religious militants that protect those places. Most religions co-exist with little conflict between them.
2. Where can we go to buy standard equipment?
Natives of Neo-Tokyo generally know the best places to buy in any district. However, Roppongi is where most adventurers from the Flailsnails universe find gear to kit themselves out. This is the area of Tokyo that may also be known as “the Snail Quarter” to campaign jumpers. Gold or other valuable currencies can be traded at a fair exchange for the local currency (En 円 - gold, Ban - silver, Mon - copper), in most cases. A great deal of bartering is done throughout the city since most folks are just dirt poor.
3. Where can we go to get plate-mail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended?
Custom armour for monsters may be a bit difficult to acquire. Monstrosities tend to be killed (at least attacked) on sight within most of the city wards. There is a severe infestation of Kaiju about, after all. However, if you must have monstrous custom armour, the gear-heads of Akiba (a yokai-friendly ward) can cobble together some makeshift armour in no time. It is also likely of questionable origin and way over-priced. If you are looking for high-tech custom-fitted gear (and have the En), look no further than the discrete services of the New Otomo Syndicate.
4. Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?
Warlord Tseng, a sorcerer of significant power, has at his command a vast army outfitted with alien tech. He also commands the largest fleet of giant robo, though his constructs are not machines.
5. Who is the greatest warrior in the land?
There are numerous warriors of great reputation across the city and each ward has a champion duellist. Sasaki Kenjiro, a samurai lord, wears the Niban Hachimaki marking him as the second most skilled swordsman in the city. However, since the Ichiban Hachimaki went missing ages ago and Sasaki has stopped searching - he is effectively the number one guy.
6. Who is the richest person in the land?
The wealthiest person in the lands is the Emperor. He controls and protects the greatest area of arable land. His samurai are outfitted with powerful New Otomo tech and he has a sizeable force of Giant Robo to protect his domain from Daikaiju and the other warlords.
The New Otomo Syndicate is the richest and most powerful corporation in the city. They have a lock on the most advanced technologies and sell at near extortionate prices.
7. Where can we go to get some magical healing?
For magical healing, look to the holy men of Jinguji. Led by the goddess, Amaterasu, the monks and priests here have awakened the Ancient of the gardens and the huge tree has granted them powerful healing and holy magic to help defend her. The cost is quite high, however, and terms of servitude can extend from as few as a few days to decades.
Curatives can be purchased in Roppongi at black market stalls (very expensive).
As a tech-savvy alternative, limb replacements and cybernetic enhancements are becoming increasingly popular (and affordable) across the city. They can be acquired through New Otomo or the disreputable cyber-docs of Akiba.
8. Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?
Your best bet is likely with the healers of Jinguji. But if you happen to acquire one of these unfortunate conditions, you are probably fucked.
9. Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?
A guild of mages? Not really.
Old Tokyo University has a burgeoning school of magic, though it is still in its infancy and the students have a very candy-coated cavalier approach to their studies.
The wu-jen of Neo-Tokyo tend to live on the outskirts of the city or in the dead zones. They avoid each other and carry on rivalries better than the cheerleaders of the Monster Sumo League. Individuals can be approached to teach magics, but they are all kooks and nutjobs. It’s a long and painfully costly process to woo a wu-jen. Some want precious items and others want luxurious foodstuffs, some just want to take your dignity; whatever they want, you’ll likely regret paying it. A wu-jen rarely shares his magic at a fair price.
There are a couple magic-using eccentrics holed-up in Roppongi that can teach outsider magic for a slightly fairer price.
10. Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC?
Black marketeers in Roppongi and Akiba have been getting their hands on magical curatives, despite the lack of local know-how. It appears that they are being imported from some unknown source.
Experts in most any field can usually be found in Akiba. The more esoteric the knowledge sought, the more likely an expert can be found.
Old Tokyo University is also home to academics, scientists and a fine school of magic.
11. Where can I hire mercenaries?
Mercs? Look to the outskirts of Neo-Tokyo for disenfranchised warriors. Many ronin and bushi make their pay as bandits or swords-for-hire in these wildlands.
Extra hands? Any district or ward has enough hard-on-their-luck types that would jump at the chance to earn some En.
12. Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?
Each ward is under the law of the prevailing leadership, meaning that things are completely different wherever you go. I wouldn’t recommend carrying a sword unless you happen to be a samurai in Imperial-controlled wards. Wielding magic in Tseng’s domain is a sure-fire way to meet his equivalent of Johnny Law... Majosatsu, perhaps?
13. Which way to the nearest tavern?
Look no further than the “Aoi Usagi” in Roppongi and Toshima, a branch of the famed Blue Rabbit taverns. Also, a great place to lock down rumours regarding adventure and treasure.
Looking for the authentic Tokyo experience? Try one of hundreds of izakayas in any of the wards.
14. What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous?
If there isn’t a Kaiju terrorising the city, then it’s a slow day. The Oni are also a constant threat. There are some rogue magics and terrible machines loose in various places around the city.
15. Are there any wars brewing I could go fight?
The Warlords of Neo-Tokyo are not currently at war and the Oni population seems content to claim the outer reaches for their own for now. However, tensions are always mounting and the truces and treaties could be broken. Also, the warlords are constantly undermining one another through subterfuge and espionage.
16. How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?
The Monster Sumo League is a major source of illegal entertainment for the people of the city. The Yokai Yakuza of Akiba run the show and take down all the profits. Contestants are richly rewarded and treated with profound respect by the population in any ward.
17. Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?
Depends which side you happen to fall on, I suppose. But if folks knew about them, they wouldn’t be terribly secret. (Yes, there are ninjas. NO. You can’t find them).
18. What is there to eat around here?
Neo Tokyo has a lavish and vast inter-campaign cuisine on offer. Ex-pats from all across the multiverse have come to serve the food-crazy Neo-Tokyoites.
19. Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for?
The Ichiban Hachimaki, as mentioned, has been missing for some time. The Heart of the Giant is missing; it is rumoured to drive the Giant Robo currently rusting away in sunken Daiba. The ancient weapons of the Celestial Generals are great artifacts of incredible power... surprise surprise, also missing.
|The Ichiban Hachimaki|
20. Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure?
The Dragons of the city tend to hold to higher ideals than the amassing of fortunes; most of the dragons serve Amaterasu and the Ancient or perhaps Warlord Tseng. While there are certainly numerous colossal beasts to be destroyed, it is unfortunate that most do not seem to keep lairs or baubles. The Oni lords would likely have hoards of treasure, but they are heavily guarded in their Mist-bound fortresses.
Cards on the table, you are not going to find a lot of “treasure” of the conventional kind.